PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has pledged to hire 25,000 people under age 30 by the end of 2022 to help counter both youth unemployment, which has risen due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a dearth of specialized workers in the luxury sector.
Chantal Gaemperle, group executive vice president, human resources and synergies, outlined the proposal at a press conference held at the luxury conglomerate’s headquarters in Paris on Wednesday, noting that it represented an increase of 20 percent in the company’s hiring intentions for that particular demographic.
“The pandemic has disproportionately hit minorities, and in particular young people, on the financial and psychological front, and in terms of employability,” she said.
The group plans to reinforce its “Craft the Future” action plan, aimed at young people, with a series of initiatives designed to highlight the 280 professions it has identified within its ranks. In France alone, it aims to bring on 5,000 interns or apprentices, and 2,500 employees on a permanent contract.
In a report earlier this year, French luxury goods trade association Comité Colbert said the industry was struggling to recruit, pointing in particular to a shortage of leather goods workers. It said LVMH invests up to 120 million euros a year in training programs, all professions combined.
The group’s latest initiative is “Inside LVMH,” a free online learning platform aimed at students from partner schools, interns, apprentices and young LVMH employees. Some 16,000 people signed up for its pilot program, with 3,000 obtaining a certificate after completing the training module. The top 400 will receive special mentoring.
Anne Laure Despeaux, employer branding director at LVMH, said the idea was to cast a wide net in a bid to identify potential candidates for its lesser-known vacancies.
“When you think of LVMH, you generally think of our beautiful houses and products, so people tend to see themselves in marketing and communications, but it’s important to note we also have open positions in production, supply chain, IT, even in human resources,” she said.
“There is no barrier to entering the platform and signing up for the certificate. Anyone can join, and then we evaluate their willingness to learn, to see it through, to delve into our universe. That’s crucial for our group, and for our diversity and inclusion efforts,” Despeaux added.
LVMH also plans to ramp up the intake at its Institut des Métiers d’Excellence, which has trained some 1,400 people in France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany and Japan since it was founded in 2014. This year, 339 apprentices will join the program, run in partnership with leading schools, up from 150 in 2019.
LVMH hires 80 percent of the graduates, but is encountering the same issues as other luxury houses seeking to recruit specialized workers, in particular craftspeople. Gaemperle said the group was reaching out to students as young as 12 or 13 in the hopes of encouraging them to pursue jobs that are traditionally undervalued in France.
“The numbers are quite worrying because there is a shortage of talent in general on the market,” she said. “It’s incredible, because there are people looking for work, and we have enormous difficulties recruiting in sectors such as retail, hospitality and leather goods, so it’s a question of survival.”